Losing their first game of the season to the No. 5 Syracuse Orange eight days ago, the No. 13 Florida Gators (8-2) were hoping to rebound Saturday evening against the Richmond Spiders (8-3) in the 2009 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. Instead, Florida fell 56-53 to their Atlantic 10 opponent, losing their second straight neutral site game, this time in Sunrise, FL, at the BankAtlantic Center. Up eight points at the end of the first half, the Gators allowed the Spiders to mount an 11-0 run in the first 2:02 of the second half to take a 33-32 lead.
Florida shot 7-for-27 in the second half (26 percent) including 1-of-9 from beyond the arc. At one point, they came back to take a 49-48 lead, but relinquished it quickly and never recovered. Richmond guard David Gonzalvez led Richmond shooting 50 percent from the field and 4-for-9 from three-point range to accumulate 16 points on the evening. Star G Kevin Anderson contributed 14 points of his own, going 5-of-7 from the free throw line including four in the last 5.4 seconds of the game.
Junior forward Alex Tyus led the Gators with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and redshirt junior transfer center Vernon Macklin contributed a team-high 11 rebounds though he only shot 2-for-8 from the floor. Hometown stars freshman G Kenny Boynton and sophomore G/F Ray Shipman were held silent on the evening, contributing six points (3-for-12 shooting, 0-for-6 from three) and zero points, respectively. Senior F Dan Werner, junior F Chandler Parsons and sophomore point guard Erving Walker each scored nine points. The Gators were wholly ineffective, shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from three-point range.
Florida returns to action Tuesday, hosing the South Alabama Jaguars (8-4) at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.